July 15, 2020 Read More →

Preemie risks higher closer to natural gas flaring sites

Houston Chronicle:

The practice of burning excess natural gas during drilling operations significantly increases the risk of premature births for mothers living nearby, according to an analysis of births in the South Texas region encompassing the Eagle Ford Shale.

When done in high amounts, the practice, known as flaring, was associated with a 50 percent greater chance of preterm birth compared to women with no exposure, according to the analysis by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California Los Angeles. Researchers analyzed more than 23,000 births in the Eagle Ford region between 2012 and 2015.

The study was published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health Perspectives journal.

Oil companies operating in the Permian Basin of West Texas burned a record $750 million worth of natural gas in 2018, or 238.1 billion cubic feet, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonpartisan group in Ohio that researches industry trends. 

[Erin Douglas]

More: Risk of premature births 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring, researchers find

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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